Headin’ Out… To The Track Compiled by Mike Twist
A Jam Packed Weekend of Racing That Starts on Thursday
The format, which is unique but not new to the Modified Tour, will see only green flag laps scored. Regardless of how many caution laps are run, the checkered flag will drop with the completion of 75 green-flag laps.
Green flag-only races have been held before on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Three Spring Sizzler races at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway from 1985-87 were 80-lap, green flag-only events, as were two 75-lap races at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway during the 1988 season.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour also had four green flag races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from 1995-97. The format for those races counted caution laps, but the race did not conclude until each of the advertised green flag laps were completed.
During the last 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson, roughly one out of every three laps completed were run under caution. Therefore, recent history says that it will take approximately 118 total laps to produce 75 green flag laps.
Eddie Flemke won the Icebreaker at Thompson. Can he conquer the 75-lapper there this week as well? (Jamie Williams Photo)
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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Thompson Int'l Speedway (CT)
The second of five trips for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway is slated for Thursday, June 19 with the New England Dodge Dealers 75 presented by Charter Cable, Internet & Telephone.
"Sometimes our [150 lap] races end up having 80 or 90 laps of green flag at Thompson, so it will be similar," Mike Stefanik said.
A handful of current drivers have participated in the green flag races of years past, including winners Reggie Ruggiero (Stafford, 1987) and Stefanik (New Hampshire, 1995).
"I don't really care how they play it, it's still going to be a great race," Stefanik said. "Modified racing is always fantastic, so whatever the format is, we just blend to it and try to do the best we can with it and see how it all shakes out."
PASS South Super Late Models
Wake County Raceway (NC)
Over the years, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models have competed on a variety of different race tracks across the Southeast. From Virginia to Georgia, from flat half-miles to high banked 3/8 miles, the PASS South Series has been there and done that. But, perhaps, PASS South's greatest test rests this weekend at its smallest venue. On Friday night, the regulars of PASS South will tackle the .23 mile Wake County Speedway near Raleigh, NC for the Capital City Clash. Wake County Speedway is the only track in Virginia, North or South Carolina that features Super Late Models as its premier division. The combination of a tough, unfamiliar track could play right into the hands of the Wake County regulars.
Corey Williams' #47 PASS South Super Late Model.
“This is a race our fans have been waiting for ever since it was announced last December,” said Ginger Pleasant, Director of Public Relations for Wake County Speedway. “You haven't seen anything until you've seen Super Late Models on a track the size of Wake County. This is definitely the biggest race our track has seen in a number of years.”
Several PASS South regulars honed their skills at Wake County prior to moving up the racing ladder. Among those drivers is Alex Fleming. Fleming managed to win the 2007 Wake County Speedway track championship at the same time he finished 11th in the 2007 PASS South standings. Despite more than his fair share of bad luck, Fleming comes into this weekend's Capital City Clash 10th in PASS South points and as one of the favorites among PASS South regulars. Nashville, NC's John Batten, Winston-Salem, NC's Mark Gibson and Goldsboro, NC's Clay Jones are some of the other PASS South regulars who look to run well while close to home.
Even though Wake County might not be as close to home, several other PASS South
drivers hope to be in contention on Friday night. PASS South points leader Corey Williams is originally from Boothbay, ME and has competed on a number of tracks in New England that are similar in length to Wake County Speedway. Additionally, Kyle Busch development driver Alex Haase and 13-year-old Brentwood, TN native Logan Ruffin have tested at Wake County in preparation for the Capital City Clash.
The biggest variable for this weekend's race though, could be the Wake County regulars and who shows up and who does not. Wake County points leader “Big” Jim Kelley and Matt Jones have both indicated that they are planning to compete in the Capital City Clash. Other Wake County regulars including David Clark, Curtis Simpkins, and Jonathan Logan along with veterans Randy Renfrow and Eddie Massengill are other possibilities that could use their Wake County “know how” to take win away from the PASS South contingent.
“There's no telling who might show, but I can guarantee you it'll be worth it to see what happens Friday night,” said Pleasant.
Gates open Friday, June 20 at 1:00 PM, PASS South Super Late Model practice will be at 3:00 PM, PASS South qualifying will be at 7:00 PM, and racing starts at 8:00 PM. In addition to the PASS South Super Late Models competing in the Capital City Clash, there will also be racing for the Citgo Mini Mart Four Cylinders and the Dirt Cheap Sand, Rock, and Mulch U-Cars. Wake County Speedway is located in Raleigh, NC just off US Highway 401 at 2109 Simpkins Road.
USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series
Myrtle Beach Speedway
When people think of Myrtle Beach, images of sand, surf, golf and restaurants are usually the first things to come to mind. But before the sleepy coastal town blossomed into big business, stock-car racing was the main attraction.
Dating back to the 1950s, fans of stock car racing have watched Richard Petty, David Pearson, Donny and Bobby Allison, and Ned Jarrett race around the Grand Strand's half-mile track.
Three generations of Earnhardts also raced at the track. Ralph, Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. all made their way to Victory Lane at MBS. Other racing families like the Pearsons, Pettys and Jarretts spent many a Saturday night chasing checkered flags in Myrtle Beach. But after the BUSCH (now Nationwide) Series opted for bigger venues following the 2000 season, some fans feared the heyday of short-track racing had passed in Horry County. Well, that's not the case.
The Hooters Pro Cup Series event at Myrtle Beach Speedway has turned into one of the largest sporting events in the county. Upwards of 10,000 fans crowd every nook and cranny of the finicky layout every June to watch the best of the best put on a show that reminds race fans of the roots of racing: short tracks and short tempers.
"We make the trip from Florence every year," said Bryan Blackwell. "You won't see a better race anywhere than the Hooters Pro Cup race at Myrtle Beach."
This year's event, the Greased Lightning 250 presented by Black's Tire&Auto Service, is scheduled for a green flag at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 21.
ACT Late Models
Oxford Plains Speedway (ME)
The ACT Late Model Tour fires back up at Maine's Oxford Plains Speedway this Saturday (June 21) with the Dunkin' Donuts 150. The race will serve as the final long-distance OPS tune-up for the 35th Annual TD Banknorth on July 20. Post time for the 7th of 12 races on the 2008 ACT schedule is 6:30pm.
In case you've been in hiding the last seven years, the ACT events at Oxford have been nothing short of thrilling. The hometown boys have learned how to whip up pretty well on the touring stars, and the all-time
series is almost even in terms of victories. Depending on how you classify Eddie MacDonald, the last ACT regular to win an actual ACT event at Oxford was Randy Potter, way back in April 2007.
CRA Super Series
Illiana Speedway (IN)
The seventh annual Elmer Musgrave Memorial 100 takes place on Saturday at Illiana Speedway with an entry list that includes Eddie Hoffman, Dave Weltmeyer, Jeff Lane, Scott Hantz, Johnny Van Doorn Boris Jurkovic and the winner of last week's CRA race, Rick Turner.
ASA Late Model South Division
New Smyrna Speedway (FL)
The cars and stars of the ASALMS South will get back into the swing of things after five weekends off as the last ASALMS South event was conducted at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia back on May 10, 2008. So the teams have been itching to get back into race mode after so much time off!
The ASALMS Southern Division will head back to the famed 1/2 Mile High-Banked Paved Oval of New Smyrna Speedway, located Eight miles West of New Smyrna Beach and 15 Miles South of Daytona Beach in Samsula, Florida on Saturday, June 21, 2008 in the running of the Florida 100 Presented by Crane Cams.
Longwood, Florida driver, Brandon Johnson, the 2007 ASALMS Most Popular Driver Award Winner who now pilots the #93 Suncoast Plastering Chevrolet, is the defending champion of the Florida 100 and will be making his first start of the 2008 racing season!
Joining the ASALMS Southern Division for the Fourth race of the 2008 season will be the tracks regular divisions of Pro Trucks, Florida Modifieds, Super Stocks, and Strictly Stocks.
True Value Modified Racing Series
Waterford Speedbowl (CT)
The True Value Modified Series returns Saturday night for the second of three scheduled 2008 appearances at Waterford Speedbowl. David Pinkham, a winner back on May 3 and the current point leader, leads the TVMS back to the 'Bowl.
Four features from last week's rained out event - a 35 lapper for the SK-Modifieds, a 30-lapper for the Late Models and 20 lappers for the Sportsman and Mini Stocks - is also on the schedule. True Value heats begin at 4:30 pm.
Pinkham used the Bowl's outside groove to perfection. Kirk Alexander did the same thing last fall coming from deep in the field. Two-lane racing has made the Speedbowl a favorite for many of the TVMS competitors.
A quartet of Speedbowl favorites led by Ted Christopher bolster the True Value field, the '93 track champ looking to add to an already impressive Waterford resume. The only driver with Bowl wins in three different touring divisions (NASCAR Modifieds, Midgets and Pro 4 Modifieds), Christopher hopes to increase that to four.
Also “coming home” are Chris Pasteryak, Mike Holdridge and Eddie Dachenhausen, all familiar with the route to the 'Bowl's victory lane. Fourth earlier this year at the Speedbowl, Pasteryak is currently running third in TVMS points. Holdridge and Dachenhausen are among the point leaders as well.
Extraordinary speeds have been commonplace with the visiting tours this seasons at the Speedbowl. With a cast that also includes last week's Seekonk winner Vinnie Annarummo Jr., Les Hinkley, Dave Evonsion, Dwight and Pete Jarvis, TVMS believes it can continue that trend.
Point-battles continue to dominate the weekly divisions. Dennis Gada, after a seventh title, leads Keith Rocco atop the SK standings. Tyler Chadwick and defending champion Rob Janovic Jr. remain in the picture as well.
Defending Late Model champion Bruce Thomas Jr. and Ron Yuhas Jr., are separated by a scant four points. Ed Reed Jr. and Tim Jordan, both former champs, are in third and fourth respectively.
Al Stone III heads up the Sportsman division where seven different drivers have won. Ken Cassidy Jr. and Randy Churchill continue to battle it out for the Mini Stock lead.
NASCAR Camping World West Series
Infineon Raceway (CA)
The race … The Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts is the sixth race on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule in 2008. It is the first of two road course events this season.
The procedure … The starting field is 40 cars, including provisionals. The first 36 cars will qualify through NASCAR road racing style qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 64 laps (127.36 miles).
The track … Infineon Raceway is a winding 10-turn 1.99-mile road course, with varying elevation. The West has visited the Sonoma facility 28 times, since first going there in 1969. In addition to the track hosting 19 stand-alone events, drivers and teams competed in nine companion events there with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series between 1989 and 1997.
The records … Qualifying: David Gilliland, June 23, 2007, 91.979 mph, 77.887 seconds; Race: Brian Vickers, June 24, 2006, 67.595 mph, 1 hour 53 minutes 3 seconds.
$50,000 in prize money distributed … The top 20 teams in the NASCAR Camping World Series West received a combined $50,000 in prize money for the first portion of the championship program for this season. The prize money, part of the overall $350,000 point fund award for 2008, was distributed based on driver championship standings after the first four races.
Long entry list at Infineon … Another large field of entries is expected at Infineon Raceway. Last year's event attracted 40 cars and preliminary entries indicate the turnout for this year's event may exceed that number.
Testing, testing … More than 20 teams made an early visit to Infineon Raceway for a test session on June 10.
Carquest Pro Stock Series
Speedway 660 (NB)
The CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour is heading to the Geary Woods this weekend and the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour 100 is promising to be one of the many exciting races to make this another action packed weekend at Speedway 660. Upwards of 32 cars are expected to make their way to the Geary woods this Saturday night for the tour's first Speedway visit of the season. Green flag is scheduled to fly at 6pm (5:10 start for time trials).
This week's lineup will reflect both quantity and quality with the Pro Stocks from the tour racing. Current points leader Wayne Smith, along with other drivers such as Rollie MacDonald, Shawn Turple and rookie Craig Slaunwhite, are expected as well as several drivers familiar with Speedway including Saint John's Lonnie Sommerville, 2006 Peterbilt 250 Champion and Fredericton's Shawn Tucker, who calls NBIS his home track and is defending tour champion and Peterbilt 250 champion. The tour drivers won't be the only ones taking part in this weekend's 100 lap event, fans can expect to see Speedway 660 regulars Greg Fahey, Brent Wiggins, Matt Harris and Kevin Moore take a stab at winning the CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour 100.
Big Block Supermodifieds
All Star Speedway (NH)
Mother nature forced the cancellation of the first two WaterSnoGo Big Block Supermodified Series Events in May, making this Saturday night's 50-lap special event the first of what has now become a shorter series for the popular open wheeled cars.
On June 21, Chris Perley will lead a strong contingent of the winged warriors to All-Star Speedway in a quest for the $2,500 first place prize. It will not be easy for him, as drivers such as Russ Wood, Mike Ordway Jr. and Jon McKennedy will be looking for victory as well.
Each race will be magnified in importance as Big Block Supermodified drivers look to become the first champion of the WaterSnoGo sponsored series.
WaterSnoGo, a division of M-O-H Enterprises Inc., is an Indoor-Outdoor Theme Park spearheaded by Mark O'Hildonen, a Four-Time Wheel Standing Funny Car Drag Racing Champion.
The NASCAR Modifieds will also be on the card, as they headline a full program of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events. Louie Mechalides will be looking to solidify his lead atop the standings, but he should face stiff challenges from Jon McKennedy, Bruce Batchelder and Bobby Gahan to name a few.
Not to be outdone, the Strictly Stocks will run double features, and the Super Streets, Fast Fours, Fast Eights and V-6 Modifieds are also on the card.
With the ISMA Supermodified Series not having a race scheduled until July 8, a number of ISMA series regulars are expected to compete.
The time is now for arguably the most popular class of cars to ever compete at All-Star Speedway to make their return to the fast quarter-mile oval. With a proven record of competitive racing, the Big Block Supermodifieds are sure to be a crowd pleaser that will leave fans wanting more by the end of the evening.
A full slate of qualifying heat races will begin on June 21 at 6:00 PM, with NASCAR Feature races and the WaterSnoGo Big Block Supermodified 50 lap event to follow.
UARA-STARS Late Models
Coastal Plains Speedway (NC)
The UARA-STARS Late Models will head to North Carolina's Coastal Plains Speedway this Saturday night.
PASS North Super Late Models / PASS Modifieds / PASS Sportsman
Wiscasset Raceway (ME)
The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North super late models get back in action on Sunday
for the Steel's Real Rods and Custom 125 and the biggest question amongst PASS north
fans is, who can stop Johnny Clark at Wiscasset Raceway?
Clark is on a three-race PASS hot streak at Wiscasset that dates back to August of 2007.
But Travis Benjamin gave Clark all he could handle in the Ray Haskell Ford 125 back in May,
crossing the finish line half a car length behind the two time PASS super late model champion.
Adam Bates, Ben Rowe, D.J. Shaw, Cassius Clark, Kelly Moore and Scott Chubbuck all
showed plenty of speed in the Wiscasset PASS opener as well, so there will be plenty of
challengers to Clark's recent dominance. There's a guaranteed spot in the August 17,
$30,000.00 to win Toyota Tundra 250 on the line for the race winner so there's added
incentive to race home first on Sunday.
The PASS Mods are on Sunday's racing card and Mark Lucas has a win streak of his own
on the line. Lucas has won three straight in the open wheelers, but opening day winner Andy
Shaw, Kenny Harrison, Tom Oliver, Ron Gooden and Gary Norris are just a few of the Mod
crew that will be looking to unravel Lucas' skein of victories.
It's race number three of 2008 for the Pluffybilt Racing Tractors PASS Sportsman racers;
Terry Merrill and 2007 series champ Dan McKeage have both visited victory lane in the
popular series. Point leader Shane Tatro, Duane Seekins and Steve Bennett Sr. have all run
up front and any one of them and a host of others could easily take down their first PASS checker of 2008.
A $500.00 to win 50-lap Street Stock Nationals qualifier will round out a non-stop Father's Day afternoon of action-packed racing. The pit gates swing open Sunday June 22nd at 9:00 AM, with practice set for 11:00 AM. Grandstands open at noon and the heat races go green at 2:00 PM sharp.
ASA Midwest Tour
Grundy County Speedway (IL)
The best Super Late Model drivers in the Midwest will bring their 500hp built engine Super Late Models to Grundy County Speedway on Sunday, June 22nd for the running of the ECHO Power Blower 100 presented by Pro Source Motorsports and Hype Energy Drink. This will be fifth event of the 2008 season for the ASA Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment.
The ASA Midwest Tour, the only Super Late Model asphalt series in the Midwest sanctioned by the American Speed Association (ASA), will make its only visit to the state of Illinois next Sunday. The tour has 14 events over five states this season.
With the recent weather that many in the Midwest have experienced, not only will the fans but the race teams will be ready to take on the challenge of the 1/3 mile oval.
Last year, Dan Fredrickson held off a late charge from Nate Haseleu to take his first ASAMT point win. Since that time, Fredrickson was the only multiple winner in the ASAMT. Back on May 17th, Jonathan Eilen scored his second ASAMT win at Jefferson Speedway to join Fredrickson as the only two multiple winners in 15 ASAMT events.
Along with the ASAMT Touring Stars and local Grundy competitors expected to compete on Sunday night, NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor Johnny Sauter will bring his own Super Late Model to Grundy. Sauter recently competed in the last event at Dells Raceway Park where he started 15th and came home with a fifth place finish.
“Heading home to Grundy County Speedway is always a special event for me because it is nice to be able to see my family and to put on a spectacular event for all my old friends and loyal fans at the race track. We had one of our biggest crowds of the year last summer for our event at Grundy and we don't want any of the area fans to miss this experience,” stated Seneca native and ASAMT Vice President Steve Einhaus.
ASAMT Qualifying will get underway at 4:00 pm with its popular autograph session starting at 4:45 pm with the first race at 6 pm.
Joining the high-horse powered ASAMT Super Late Models will be the Grundy Street Stocks and Pure Stocks divisions.
The Street Stocks will be competing in the Hype Challenge 30 sponsored by Bailey's Carpet One Floor and Home located in Morris, IL.
Bailey's Carpet One Floor and Home of Morris has been a great supporter of Grundy County Speedway for the last seven years. Even Randy Weese, store manager, competes in the Street Stock division at Grundy. They are also welcoming the Illiana Turbo Stocks to come and compete as well.
Fans can purchase advance tickets at the track for an advance price of $15 for adults. Tickets are $18 on race day. Or you can visit www.wrxq.com and find the link to download a $3 off coupon for the event.
Ticket prices for senior citizens and ages 12-16 are $12 in advance and $15 race day. Ages 11 and under are FREE.
Make your plans now to see the best Super Late Model drivers compete on Sunday, June 22nd at Grundy County Speedway.
Pro Cup action hits the beach this weekend.
ACT racing at Oxford usually comes down to a battle between track masters, like Ricky Rolfe (#51) and tour regulars like multi-time champion Jean Paul Cyr (#32). (Jamie Williams Photo)
David Pinkham (#22) crosses the finish line first in the last race at Waterford. (Jim Dupont Photo)
Will Johnny Clark stanbd tall again at Wiscasset?